Everyday Mom's Meals

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Red, White & Barbecue

Today's recipe is because I had another opportunity to try a great product from My Magazine Sharing Network. And you're going to be so glad I did.

This time, they wanted me to check out McCormick® Grill Mates® Bottle Blend Seasoning at my local Kroger store. With so many flavors to choose from I knew it wasn't going to be easy to pick. But I was in the mood for tasty, summer time barbecue, and had a new sauce I had been waiting to try too...so I was immediately drawn to the Brown Sugar & Bourbon. Just reading that, you're drooling, aren't you? Just wait! 

Backyard barbecues are one of the best things about this time of year. And I don't care if you're hosting the whole neighborhood or having a quiet evening at home with your family, there is just something so fun about a hot grill with great food! It is truly an All American tradition! 

Since we just got back from our Florida vacation, I had southern barbecue on the brain. No, not because we were in the Sunshine state, but because we drive through Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia on the way down and back. SO many signs for tasty, finger lickin' barbecue, my mouth was watering! 

The flavors in the spice blend complimented the sauce I made perfectly, but would be absolutely delicious on its own too. Kind of like a dry rub! 

If you're looking for a new barbecue recipe to throw on your grill before summer is over, this one is super easy, but BIG on flavor!

Sweet Southern Barbecue Chicken
4 chicken leg quarters, fat trimmed but skin on
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3 TBS McCormick Brown Sugar & Bourbon seasoning
1 c. ketchup
1 c. cola
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder 
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pot combine ketchup, cola, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl and allow to come to room temperature. Baste chicken with oil and sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper. Allow to chill in fridge for 2 hours. Before grilling, let chicken come up to room temperature. Preheat grill to high. Spray with cooking spray. Sear chicken on both sides for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook chicken for 35-40 minutes, turning often. In the last 15 minutes baste liberally with sauce. *NOTE* The amount of oil and seasoning is based on the size of your chicken quarters. 

Disclaimer: I received free samples to use in this post. All opinions and the recipe are my own.  

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Side Dish Or The Star

I love when a recipe can wear different hats. Having something that is both delicious and versatile means I can make it again and again, and utilize it in different ways.

Case in point? Today's recipe. If you're doing Meat Free Monday, this could easily be your main dish tonight. (See note below!) Or, if you are like me and are always on the lookout for new side dishes, this could totally rock that too! It would be SO tasty with anything you're grilling up this summer. Oh, if your kids turn their noses up at anything green...this has so much cheese, they might not even notice!

Broccoli and Cheese are such classic flavors and this really lets them shine! You might not think it is hearty enough to be the center of a meal, but I assure you, it is! I served it with some fruit and crunch bread on the side and we were plenty full. Plus, the leftovers made a great lunch for the hubby the next day.

If your recipe box is in need of some dishes that you can pull out for different reasons, and enjoy them any way you serve them, start with this!

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole
2 TBS butter
2 c. instant rice, uncooked
2 (12 oz.) bags frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (16 oz.) jar cheese sauce
1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover it. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onion and celery until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add broccoli and cook another 5 minutes. In a medium bowl whisk together cheese sauce, soups, milk and sour cream. Add rice. Stir to combine. Add mixture to skillet. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish. Cover. Bake for 30 minutes, until rice is tender. Uncover. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and extra pepper. Cook 10-15 additional minutes. Stir well before serving.*NOTE* If you want to make this 100% meat free, swap out the cream of chicken for cream of celery soup. I think it would be delicious!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

One of the things some people look forward to the most this time of year is planting their summer time garden. If you're one of them, my hat is off to you!

It's not that we don't want one, our backyard just isn't very conducive for growing, and after trying to no avail more years than I care to remember, we've given up. But thankfully we are surrounded by many farmers markets and road side stands; and even have some friends with really big thumbs, so we still enjoy fresh garden veggies all summer long!

I can eat tomatoes like apples. Bring them in, wash them off, a little salt and bite! Cucumbers picked on a warm day always taste better than anything you can buy in the produce aisle.

With all of these beautiful summer veggies, salads are sure to be on the menu. On one of those nights that it is still sweltering at supper time, but you're starving, a light, crisp, cool salad can really hit the spot.

My inspiration for this one was the traditional cucumber and tomato salad we've all eaten a hundred times. But this time I added a little Greek flare. Why? Because the teenager loves feta cheese, and asked me to come up with a reason for him to eat it. No joke. This entire recipe came to be because of the boy's love of cheese.

This would be perfect with anything you've got coming off the grill, and really nice for a cookout or picnic outdoors since there is no "creamy" factor. Plus, the leftovers can be a great lunch the next day. Just ask Mr. E. That's exactly what he did!

If you are a master summer gardener, I am impressed! It really is an art, and the rest of us are so lucky there are so many out there who are willing to share with those of us who aren't as skilled!

Greek Garden Salad
3 large cucumbers peeled and sliced thin
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 (6 oz.) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
1/3 c. Greek salad dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley, for garnish

In a large bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently. Pour dressing over and mix again. Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Chill for an hour before serving. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Summer Time Snacking

School is out! Hooray!!! Seriously, those last couple weeks were rough! And then the fact we had to go back after Memorial Day for 1.5 days was almost torture. But we persevered and don't have to set an alarm or pack a lunch until August!

I adore summer vacation. I realize it is different for me because I am at home, and don't have the stress of additional child care, but I cherish every minute he's home with me. And now that Max is old enough to understand "Bruh Bruh" is home with us, well let's just say it even more special.

One of the things that I do recognize has being harder during these months is the fact I have to feed the teenager that extra meal every day, every week! I find myself going to make Max's lunch and saying "Oh that's right. Alex might want something too." Now, to be fair we are only a few days into summer vacation, so I'm still getting into my groove. But it isn't just lunch! He wants snacks too! I swear, these kids...they think they need fed 24/7. LOL

I love making trail mixes because we can all enjoy them. Even Max now! (Sure he likes to pick out the M&Ms, but he does like the pretzels and cheese crackers too) And in the summer, they are perfect for snacking in the car, at the park, beside the pool, or just hanging out in the back yard. True story, if you would have seen us last weekend in our back yard, Max was in his baby pool, and the three of us were sitting around it, watching him, and passing around a huge bowl of this!

Sweet and salty together are one of my favorite things. Even flavor combos you think might not work do. Mr. E made the comment he didn't know how the candy and cheese crackers would taste, but they were really good!

You can always add some other ingredients your family loves too. Make it your own! Let the kids get in on the action too--they could come up with some interesting combos!

Summer break is something I look forward to all school year long. My boys, with me, adventures to be found, and yummy snacking on the way!

Sweet n Salty Trail Mix
4 c. twist pretzels
3 c. cheese crackers
2 c. honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 c. roasted almonds
1/2 c. M&Ms
1/2 c. Reece's Pieces
1/2 c. raisins

Mix all together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Disclaimer: I received free samples from Kroger and MyMagazine Sharing Network for use in this post.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Taco Tuesday

Do you do "Taco Tuesday" at your house? I have to admit, I really don't. Yes, I'm sure at some point in the annals of history I have served tacos at some point on a Tuesday night, but it wasn't intentional or planned. 

But today, I am jumping on the bandwagon...sort of. I'm offering up something for you to switch up your routine, even thought I'm almost positive I served this on a Thursday! 

Mexican food is one of my Top 5 cuisines. Seriously, I can't get enough of the stuff. It is one of the things I choose to eat out the most, and never tire of. I've heard it said "You think you have self restraint, until they sit the free chips n salsa down in front of you at a Mexican restaurant." That is our family summed up in one sentence! We are the ones getting to-go boxes at the end of our meal because by the time the entrees came, we had stuffed ourselves with so many chips n salsa, we are full. 

So when I get the chance to add some Mexican food to our meal plan, it's something new, and includes our favorites flavors, win...win...win! 

This simple, budget friendly and super yummy supper is like an entire Mexican meal in one dish! Each bite tastes like a taco with a little rice on the side. Plus, it has one of my favorite ingredients of all time too...green chilies! 

If you were already planning on tacos tonight, you might have a lot of these ingredients on hand, so you're half way to a new meal, but still familiar and oh so good!

Fiesta Taco Rice Bake
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/4 c. long grain rice
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (4 oz.) diced green chilies
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) corn, drained
1 c. chunky salsa
1 c. chicken  broth
1 package taco seasoning
1 c. Mexican style shredded cheese, divided use
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a large skillet brown beef and drain if needed. Add salsa, taco seasoning, corn, beans, green chilies, rice, broth, tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir well. Transfer to baking dish. Cover. Bake for 50 minutes until rice tender. Uncover, add remaining cheese and bake for 5 additional minutes. Garnish with green onions. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck